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Global Commons, Domestic Decisions

The Comparative Politics of Climate Change

Edited by Kathryn Harrison and Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom

Publication Year: 2010

Comparative case studies and analyses of the influence of domestic politics on countries’ climate change policies and Kyoto ratification decisions.

Published by: The MIT Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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Series Foreword

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pp. ix-xi

Climate change is often described as the most important environmental problem of the twenty-first century, both because of the magnitude of risks associated with it and the obviously large number of people affected. How governments respond to climate change, both domestically and internationally...

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1. Introduction: Global Commons, Domestic Decisions

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pp. 1-22

Climate change represents a “tragedy of the commons” on a global scale. Like Hardin’s hypothetical community of farmers overgrazing the village commons,1 the nations of the world, and individuals within them, over-exploit the planet’s atmosphere because they gain all the material advantages from the activities...

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2. European Union Leadership in Climate Change: Mitigation through Multilevel Reinforcement

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pp. 23-66

The European Union has positioned itself as the international agenda setter for climate change mitigation. At several critical junctures, the EU and its members have adopted policies and programs that have put it at the forefront of international efforts to address climate change.1 In the early 1990s several...

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3. The United States as Outlier: Economic and Institutional Challenges to US Climate Policy

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pp. 67-103

Until recently overtaken by China, the United States was the largest single contributor to global warming, accounting for almost one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude of the US contribution reflects not only the scale of its economy but also per capita emissions that were...

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4. Russia and the Kyoto Protocol: From Hot Air to Implementation?

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pp. 105-137

On 5 November 2004, the Russian Federation ratified the Kyoto Protocol. Since the treaty required the participation of states responsible for at least 55 percent of Annex 1 greenhouse gases, Russia’s ratification tipped the scales, and the Protocol went into effect on 15 February 2005. At first glance...

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5. Climate Leadership, Japanese Style: Embedded Symbolism and Post-2001 Kyoto Protocol Politics

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pp. 139-168

After the Bush administration pulled the United States out of the Kyoto Protocol in March 2001, Japan found itself the pivotal actor in the global battle over the survival of the treaty. With the United States out of Kyoto, the costs of ratification rose significantly. Japan would be expected to take painful...

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6. The Struggle of Ideas and Self-Interest in Canadian Climate Policy

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pp. 169-200

In ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in December 2002, Canada accepted perhaps the most ambitious commitment among all parties to the agreement. Although Canada’s formal target is to reduce its emissions to 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2008 to 2012, Canadian policymakers knew that in...

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7. Climate Clever? Kyoto and Australia’s Decade of Recalcitrance

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pp. 201-228

Until 2007 only two developed nations had refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the United States and Australia, and while their positions on the international stage seemed remarkably similar, at the domestic level they diverged significantly. The key difference, it is argued here, was that while Australia refused...

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8. Chinese Climate Policy: Domestic Priorities, Foreign Policy, and Emerging Implementation

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pp. 229-259

China is a key country in the international climate regime for two reasons. First, it is important in the global climate change process because it is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases; moreover, China’s emissions are increasing steadily. Second, its status and influence in the G-77 give it prominence...

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9. Conclusion: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change

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pp. 261-289

As the nations of the world embark on a second, post-Kyoto, effort to collectively address climate change, it is an opportune time to ask what lessons can be learned from experience to date. The case studies in this volume have revealed a diversity of outcomes concerning ratification of the Kyoto Protocol...


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pp. 291-292

Series List

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pp. 293-294


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pp. 295-312

E-ISBN-13: 9780262289481
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262014267

Page Count: 328
Publication Year: 2010